The Crown has failed to make the list of the top 50 most-watched TV shows in the UK in its first week of release, in spite of weeks of hype leading up to its November 9 launch. The fifth series of the Netflix drama was not among the most popular programmes in the country in the week November 7-13, with the show being available to stream for five out of those days, analysed by official TV audience measurement body Barb.
Classic soap operas such as Emmerdale and Eastenders, as well as popular reality shows Strictly Come Dancing and I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! were all watched more than The Crown in that week.
The BBC director general also slammed the streaming giant, saying many of the broadcaster’s dramas were “much bigger” than those produced by Netflix, reported the Daily Mail.
The royal drama, which this series features a new cast as the action moves into the 1990s, has been dogged by controversy over its inaccuracies and portrayal of real life royals.
A plotline involving then-Prince Charles (now played by Dominic West) attempting to plot with John Major (Jonny Lee Miller) to convince his mother (portrayed by Imelda Staunton) to abdicate sparked anger as the former Prime Minister denounced it as completely fictional.
The release just two months after the death of Queen Elizabeth has also been slammed for a lack of sensitivity towards the grieving family.
The last show on the top 50 list was an episode of BBC1’s Celebrity Mastermind with just over three million viewers, indicating the most watched episode of The Crown must have received a lower figure.
According to a source, even if The Crown had a full seven days’ worth of viewing measured, instead of the five days, it still would not have attracted as much views as the Mastermind episode.
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BBC director-general Tim Davie said of Netflix at the Confederation of British Industry’s annual conference: “We are not trying to beat them. We are not going to beat Netflix.
“We might be bigger than them. Most of our dramas are much bigger than them… significantly. But we love what they do.”
Filming is currently underway for the sixth and final series of The Crown, which is likely to pick up in summer 1997.